A farmworker dons his work gear, readying himself for another long, hot day in the fields. As he prepares to leave, his young daughter Lucy stops him, hoping to come with him.

The man shakes his head, telling Lucy he doesn’t want her to get hurt. She reacts in anger and sneaks into the fields against his will. Then, she comes across plants that have just been sprayed with pesticides.

“Oh, plants,” she remarks as she eats one, curious. Her father finds her soon after, collapsed from symptoms of poisoning. He rushes her to the hospital, but her condition proved too advanced to cure.

When you ask Silvia Fregoso how many children she has, she asks, "My biological children or my other children?"

For the last 27 years, Fregoso has worked in early childhood education with the Telamon Corp. Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program. She currently has 31 children under her care in Elizabethton. When she started her career, Fregoso wasn’t sure if the job was right for her.

"My husband worked in the fields back in those days, and they had no bilingual people to work with the Head Start program, and I wasn't really bilingual yet, but Head Start recruited me," she said. 

In a small gymnasium in Kingsport, Tennessee, more than 100 Mexican nationals stand in line or sit patiently in chairs, waiting to be ushered to a long bank of cameras, printers and office equipment near the back of the room.

There, employees of the Mexican consulate in Atlanta wait behind a long line of tables, taking photos of and speaking to the visitors who need a passport, consular ID — matricula — or other documents. 

As a parent, do you think about obesity? Do you worry about your children developing this condition? If so, you and your children can participate in a study to learn more about obesity and metabolic syndrome and how to prevent these conditions.

Obesity, or being overweight, is an epidemic in the U.S., says Dr. Arsham Alamian, a professor of epidemiology at East Tennnessee State University. But this problem is more serious among the Hispanic population.

Saturday, 17 October 2015 19:03

José Vázquez: A bracero for life

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His smile was inviting, and the red apples José Vázquez’s daughter placed on the table were starting to turn the color of his warm, brown complexion. Vázquez, 77, laughed as he tried to remember the when he had crossed the border to America to work in the hot sun. “A long time ago” is finally what was settled on.

The worst thing he could remember about his time in the Bracero Program was the food — especially the oatmeal. Oatmeal was nothing like Vázquez was used to eating in Mexico. He said he would look down at it and wonder what this mush was the Americans were trying to feed him.

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